The VUDE & San Francisco’s Lazy Bear

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I’ve shared my dining experiences at The VUDE before, the private underground dining experience with top chefs and top cuisines.  So far I’ve attended dinners prepared by Chef Jason Wilson, Brendan McGill of Hitchcock Restaurant, BB Ranch, Maxime Billet, and now, my newest adventure to The VUDE was to experience the cooking of Lazy Bear’s Chef David Barzelay.  Lazy Bear is an exclusive “pop up” underground dining restaurant in San Francisco.  I hear tickets are almost impossible to get and the wait list is long and daunting.  Lucky for me Chef David came to Seattle and cooked in my “backyard” at The VUDE.

A 4 hour meal sure to be full of excitement, flavor, color, experience and passion.  I’m here to share it with you!

6 courses…plus “snacks” and “treats” await us.  So here we go…

Before the snacks appeared, we were treated to a glass of cider from Blue Mountain Cider Company.

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Cider is growing in popularity here in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m quite excited by that.  I’m becoming a fan for sure!  Blue Mountain Cider appeared on my Seattle Food and Wine Experience “Favorite Beverage” for their cherry cider.

 

The first snack to grace the table in front of me and accompany our lovely cider was a tall shot glass full of something that looked soft and delightful.

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Chef’s description: whipped scrambled eggs and bacon with a base of maple syrup and hot sauce.

Eggs floating on a spicy maple liquid?  How can this go wrong?

I grabbed my mini spoon and was ready to dig in…

and dig DOWN…

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It…

Did…

Not…

Go…

Wrong!  Soft, creamy, sweet, spicy…”breakfast” in a shot glass.  Definitely one I’d order again…if it was something I COULD order!  Chef David, can we please make that happen???

 

The next snack came in one of my favorite food “accessories”, or table jewelry I like to call it.

A serving spoon.

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Crunchy…

Golden…

A fried oyster placed lovingly back in its original shell on some ginger dashi and served on a ceramic serving spoon.

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I loved the colors and textures of this “snack” and shells always make me happy.

But, it was quickly forgotten by this foodie when the NEXT snack came out.

 

BREAD!

Not just any bread…

Bread with butter…homemade, extra salty butter.

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Bread and butter chic!

The bread moist, dense, and flavorful.  The butter soft, creamy and extra salty.

I rarely butter my bread, but this meal I spread it thick and high!

All around me bread was bathed in butter and forks were digging in…

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I’ll never look and bread and butter the same again and likely never taste any quite like this!

Eggs, bacon, maple syrup, homemade bread and butter…I hear Chef David is opening his own restaurant in San Francisco.  I wonder if he’ll serve brunch and how long the line outside will be.  I suggest this be a brunch staple!

 

Still noshing on snacks (no, we haven’t yet started our 6 courses)…

Tartare with parsnip chips and a “garden of delights”.

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Radishes, carrots, herbs, and flowers seem to delicately “grow” out of the string of tartare.  Another moment of food and art and color coming together in food{ie} coloring!

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A beautifully designed and plated dish with delicate flavors.  Perhaps a bit of acid on the dish would have taken it to another level, but delightful and special nonetheless.

 

After the softness of the tartare, a crunchy creamy “cracker and cheese” enamored me with its flirty flavor and pose for the camera.

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With snacks over, the first of the 6 courses arrived with a plate of geoduck from Taylor Shellfish Farms.

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The delicate, raw geoduck was accessorized with asparagus and potatoes and dressed in a clam butter emulsion.  The small, round potatoes are “hiding’ under the main attraction of geoduck, but might just have been my favorite part of the dish!  Soft, flavorful, and unexpected.

Paired with our first course was a lovely Viognier from Watermill Winery.

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You just might remember this wine from my post on the Seattle Food and Wine Experience and my favorite COLOR of the day.  Here it shows up again in my life.  That perfect, perfect blue…and a perfectly lovely glass of wine to accompany the early courses.  And, did you know Watermill also makes the cider we started out with.  This group has perfect flavors AND colors!

food{ie} coloring superstars!!!

 

After the first course, I was lured into the kitchen by the sight of rows and rows of the beautiful round bowls that from past VUDE experience have always contained something special.  Prep in process, I “documented” the second course for you.

Eggs returned in this meal, sofft and scrambled…

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Siting rather lonely in the bowl.  Awaiting the “jewelry” that would bring it to glamour.

The first accessory, seeds…

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Sprinkled like glitter over the eggs…

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Giving the dish a new “sparkle” and texture to counter the softness of the eggs…

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You can’t have full glamour without “pearls” of caviar, right?

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Carter Caviar to the rescue and full glamour unleashed.

Looking interesting and flavorful, but a little lacking in color when I left the kitchen….

It arrived at the table with a COLOR punch of a green garlic sauce. I knew something more was coming!

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How BEAUTIFUL and intriguing is THIS dish?  So colorfully and texturally fabulous.

A dish this special deserves a little extra paparazzi attention and some “close ups”.

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After finishing the paparazzi treatment and finally EATING the dish…

WOW!

An interesting flavor assortment came together perfectly.  Light and fluffy.  A bit salty.  A delicate crunch from the seeds.

Delicious!

 

Third course…

I was ready for something a little more solid and meaty after our soft eggs and shellfish dishes.

I ventured into the kitchen again to see what was happening and found the plates being readied for presentation.

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I found the duck with roasted arugula and a black garlic glaze.

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A juicy, tender, full of flavor slice of duck.  The roasted arugula light and crunchy and a nice compliment in taste and texture.

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The black garlic glaze a lovely punch of flavor and color to the dish.

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Paired with the duck, a glass of VUDE owner’s other venture Hand of God Wines 2010 Fingerprint Series Red Wine.  A 55% Malbec, 35% Syrah and 10% Petit Verdot blend.

This is my favorite of the Hand of God wines, with soft and sweet flavors.  A lovely pairing, enhancing both the wine and the duck with the perfectly accompanying flavors.

 

Forth course…

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A beautifully tender pork loin accompanied by red quinoa, pork cheek, and a hint of lime.

A.

Fantastic.

Dish.

The pork loin was tender and flavorful.  The addition of lime gave me the acid I’d been looking for earlier and an interesting and unexpected flavor twist.

Hidden under the pork loin, and never making its way in front of the camera (because once I found it the love affair and full attention began), lie the pork cheek.  Shredded and tender.

Pork cheek on my plate is always a good thing and was no different here.  I was a lucky diner who received a sizable chunk of pork cheek that was lovingly caramelized.  A real treasure and score!  I selflessly cut it in half and shared with my dining companion.  An act of pure friendship, solidifying that we will be friends forever!

Paired with the pork loin, Hand of God’s 2010 Old Vine Malbec.

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Another beautiful pairing!

Drinking the Malbec on its own I describe it as rich and spicy.  Paired with the pork, it took on a softer, more subtle flavor that was equally, if not more delightful.  I could have hung out with these two all night!

 

Fifth course brought sweets…

and colorful TREATS!

Let’s EASE into this one…

Good things are worth waiting for!

Dehydrated angel food cake…

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Oranges…

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Meringue “kisses” and cilantro…

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Together present a beautiful, colorful, and artistic plate of delights…

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Add a shot of vanilla mexican Coke as “background”…

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Coke sorbet…

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The finished plate, full of color and flavor delights.

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This was a fun desert!

The Coke and vanilla flavors added a cold and bold flavor to the softness of the oranges.  The angel food felt like a cloud floating on my tongue.

I ate every item alone…

Combinations of oranges and meringue…

Oranges and angel food…

And, all components together…

Completely intriguing and beyond description.

 

Sixth course…

More sweets.

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Described on the menu as “Chickory”, I heard one nearby diner mention Oreos when it was presented.

Bourbon, Cocoa, and Coffee

Described by the Chef as “A play on tiramisu. Coffee cake.”

This was one of the most delightful deserts I’ve ever had.

The chicory balanced the sweetness of the cocoa and gives a smoky essence to this delicate yet flavorfully sophisticated dish.

A grown up, gourmet, exceptionally chic “Oreo”.

 

As if we needed more food…

A platter of treats!

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A sous vide chocolate chip cookie!

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Sweet and soft, exactly what I’d expect from a sous vide…cookie???  Oh YEAH!

 

Rice cracker with coconut gel and kiwi.

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Interesting textures.  The crunch of the rice cracker didn’t quite lend enough strength to the softness of the gel and kiwi.

I’m a big fan of coconut but the gel didn’t quite have the flavor punch I wanted.  I loved the idea and the look of it, but I’m a chocolate chic so that is always going to win out for me.

We had a few extra sous vide cookies, so I took another and ended my night on chocolate.

The way every good food night should end.

 

A great meal from Chef David.  Several very interesting  and delicious dishes I’d love to have again (hint, hint).

A trip to San Francisco in the future to try and eat in Chef David’s “home”?  Most likely!

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4 Responses to “The VUDE & San Francisco’s Lazy Bear”
  1. Gretchen Allen

    Wonderful write up and pictures! Thank You!

    • Melissa

      You are welcome! Thank you for a wonderful wine that added that extra special COLOR to the food{ie}! Cheers!

  2. John Duke

    Fantastic write up and photos, what an array of amazing dishes. I hope our caviar was enjoyed by all!

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